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Novel cathode material for lithium-ion batteries

By Scott Jenkins |

Initial validation testing has been completed on a novel cathode material that could lower the manufacturing costs and lengthen the lifetimes of lithium-ion batteries. The new cathode material represents a departure from the traditional Li-ion intercalation chemistry used in current batteries, in favor of a reduction-oxidation (redox) chemistry that offers several advantages. “With intercalation, the lithium ions move into and out of the electrode lattice structure, and in doing so, degradation in the lattice structure over time reduces charge capacity,” explains David Lee, CEO of BioSolar Inc. (Santa Clarita, Calif.; www.biosolar.com), the company that is commercializing the cathode material based on research at the University of California-Santa Barbara (www.ucsb.edu). The damage typically results in losses in energy storage capacity of 20% per 1,000 charge-discharge cycles, Lee says, adding, “Our approach was to use a redox chemistry that is fundamentally different from intercalation chemistry to avoid this type of storage capacity loss, and so extend battery life.” BioSolar’s cathode uses a proprietary combination of commercially available polymers and other raw materials to make up the redox-supporting cathode structure.…
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